Magazine article USA TODAY

Color-Blind Yuletide Survival Guide

Magazine article USA TODAY

Color-Blind Yuletide Survival Guide

Article excerpt

You may observe Christmas, Winter Solstice, or Kwanzaa, but everything looks a bit like a Hanukkah celebration to eight percent of the male population. For people with red-green color blindness--an estimated one in 12 men--only blues and yellows are visible as vivid shades, while reds and greens appear brownish and murky.

"Red-green color vision defects are not that rare," notes Arthur Bradley, professor of optometry at Indiana University, Bloomington. "The term 'color blindness' is used to describe limited color vision, usually with respect to reds and greens. Blue-yellow vision is very rarely affected."

While the acres of highly colorful red and green decorations in shops, homes, and offices nationwide may appear monochromatic or washed out to people with limited color vision, the Jewish winter festivities will not change greatly in their eyes. Hanukkah decorations often incorporate blue and white, the colors of Israel, and gold colors may be present in the menorah and other traditional motifs. These blues and yellows look much the same to people with red-green color vision defects as to those with normal vision, but fruitcakes, holly, and red and green Kwanzaa candles all appear to be a shade of brown. …

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